Chris J Powell

Data Visualization – Seeing the Bits for the Bytes they Provide

One of my favorite pass times is to surf the grand expanse of the Interwebz for new and exciting things in the world of technology and one of my favorite sites to start that search is over at betalist.com where they showcase the amazing world of Start Up companies from around the globe.  Today, in my quest for something “new” and “exciting” I narrowed my search to Canadian Companies and stumbled across a very interesting new service that applies the ability to physically see the connections and apply some insights into the Bits and Bytes that we all generate every day. Regardless of being a Business, a Brand or an Individual one of the most difficult things to do with all the many Social Media channels that we operate in is to have a real understanding of what the measure and influence is of the things that we do.  Social Media is the great and grand equalizer and regardless of if you are a small Local Business, Global Brand or a dude like me just looking to make a buck…understanding … Read more

Infographic of the Week – The World Needs Data Scientists

The world is filled with lots of Data.  Everything from your wants, desires and purchasing habits, to the co-relation of socioeconomic needs for the cities we live in…but there is a shortage of people who can look past the bits and bytes and see the Data for what it is…a gold mine of information.  What is even rarer, is the ability to turn that raw data into a usable and functional plan that can be used by businesses, governments and even consumers like you and I. This week’s Infographic is brought to you by Itellipaat, a company that provides Hadoop training.

WebApp Wednesday – Markdown

During my evaluation of Content Management Solutions for the relaunch of this site I looked at a lot of Flat File CMS’s that not only supported the Markdown Language but were built directly around it.  Despite returning to the site’s roots as a WordPress based website, I fell in love with the idea of being able to not only write the posts and pages in a language that was easy to understand where the code was coming from, but would also enable me to port the information over to PDF in real time without loosing any formatting or needing to rebuild things with the wonderful world of Copy & Paste. I live and breath with the Chrome Browser and as nice as it is to be able to leverage a native application, I found myself needing the option to be able to move from my Desktop, to my Chromebook to my Tablet and to my phone with a single application that I could save my .md files directly to my Google Drive that is enabled across all of the devices…and … Read more

Keeping Passwords Safe, Secure and Memorable

The digital reset that I recently went through had me logging into many sites that I had not been to in quite some time.  The number of Password Resets that I had to do was not only alarming, it was down right scary.  In this era of cloud security breaches and the use of “password and 123456” as the most common passwords out there it is no wonder that IT Leaders everywhere cringe a little bit when they think about the end user and how to build a better mouse trap. I was surprised to learn that my own bank has a limit of only 6 characters that is right no more, no less and no special characters allowed when logging into my banking system…that goes well outside my own naming convention that has 12 to 14 characters with Special Characters like $ and & interspersed in the key phrase that I typically use to log on to the services that keep my online life going. So if as end users, we are the collective weak point in the security … Read more

Depression and Anxiety Mixed with Pain

It has been a rough ride for me for the past several months.  From a 4 month head ache, to an abscessed tooth to a flare up of my Psoriasis I have been left with an immutable amount of confusion and frustration over the current state of my life.  All of this combined with a job that saw me making less and less despite doing and accomplishing more and more, the rabbit hole that is my Anxiety came full force and drove me deep into the underground that I sometimes find myself in. It was my personal battle with Anxiety that has had me in and out of jobs and unfortunately there does not seem to be a real solution to “getting better”, and when you mix in the amount of real pain that I am in EVERY DAY it leaves me wondering what good am I doing for anyone. Then I take a step back and realize that I am not the only one going through these challenges, and I am definitely not the worst off out there, but … Read more

OS Sunday – Antergos for everyone?

It has been a long while since I sat down and did a proper evaluation of a Linux Desktop.

I went out to www.distrowatch.com and took a look at the “movers and shakers” and noticed that there was a newer form of Linux that was moving up the charts.  Formerly known as Cinnarch, the Antergos Linux project bills itself “for everyone”…well if it is for everyone it should be for me too right?

The website and the project itself looks to be relatively professional in its layout.  The Community Page appears to be fairly active, with really quick responses to posts for assistance which is good, that is always important.

The options for downloads were pretty straight forward, there is a 64 bit, a 32 bit and a “Testing Branch” available for download.  Each of those options then has 2 versions, a full Live “CD” and then a Minimal version of that same ISO.  I chose to go for the 64 Bit Full Live CD and then spun up a VirtualBox with 4 GB of RAM and 20GB of storage on my trusty MonstaPuter.

The download of the ISO with the provided Torrent Link was quite fast and at 830 MB, the size was reasonable.

Booting to the Live environment was stable and relatively fast and when I went looking for the installer, it was relatively simple to go through.  I chose to use the graphical installer which is a vast improvement to the standard text based versions I have seen in other Arch Linux based distros.  The icon set that comes with Antergos is built by the great group over at numix and I chose to go for the Cinnamon Desktop (considering the project started out as a Cinnamon Based project), but there are 6 optional desktops to choose from, which is a nice option for anyone diving into a Linux Distro.

The installation took a reasonable 15 minutes and was most impressed with the integration with Google Web Fonts by default as well as the nice layout for the installation “preview screens”.

The initial boot was smooth and very reasonable and it was refreshing to see a completely clean and smooth desktop allowing me to customize things as I see fit.

When it comes to what you get with the 830 MB download and the use of the system, well during the installation, I opted to include the LibreOffice files into the installation so out of the box, the Antergos installation is ready to use as a complete system.

Accessories

  • 7zip
  • HP Device Manager
  • Xfburn

Graphics

  • Document Viewer
  • Gnome Image Viewer

Internet

  • Chromium Browser (Open Source Version of Google Chrome)
  • Empathy (Chat Client)
  • Transmission (Torrent Downloader

Office

  • LibreOffice v 4.4.1.2 (which is the current latest version)

Sound and Video

  • Cheese (webcam utility)
  • Totem Video Player
  • xNoise Music Player

Using the included PacMan (Package Manager), I was able to locate quite easily the other software that I would typically consider to be essential to a build for myself.

Overall, the Antergos LInux install and initial usage was both pleasant and easy to leap into.  The real question that I have would be, would I be able to get past the ease of use of my oh so familiar Ubuntu Linux to make this work for myself.  The simple answer would be yes, the complicated answer would be best left for another post, but if you are looking to get your feet wet with a solid, stable and easy to install/use Linus Operating System, the motto of Antergos would definitely apply as it is built for EVERYONE!

Cheers,

Krispy

 

Long Day

Who knew that being a writer was not just about putting thoughts down onto paper or in my case letting my ramblings and meanderings flow through my fingers and onto the screen in front of me. You see, I recently moved all of my previous content (almost 5 years worth) from all the various sources to a single location on the newly minted home of “i am krispy”.  While the moving over of the data was easy, a simple 4 click endeavor…going back and attaching images, link checking and reviewing for duplicate posts was not only a challenge, but has been a mind numbing endeavor that after 11 hours I am only 50% complete. I am not saying that this activity is not important, the number of dead links that I have found are actually quite telling of just how much the internet changes over time.  What I am trying to get to is that if there is anyone out there thinking about taking on the role of a “blogger” whether it be for fun or profit, there is far … Read more

I am back – Krispy's Rants Lives…but now it is "i am krispy"

It has taken me far longer than I had anticipated, considering that I moved away from the world of shared hosting to becoming a System Admin all on my own but so far the experience has been not only worth it, it has been incredibly rewarding. I set up everything from scratch, using some great resources found on the interwebz and then dove into the modification of a theme that I think is pretty darn awesome! I was torn for several weeks about migrating to a different Content Management Solution other than WordPress but at the end of the day, it was by far the easiest, most supported and despite having no less than 10 reinstalls of the OS and the site, I am no ready to touch every single post on the site and reconnect all the broken and missing links. First off, the VPS Server that I chose was among the most affordable solutions I have ever seen, I went with www.vultr.com as my provider with a 768 MB $5.00 per month setup, then I went about trying … Read more

The Grand Oversight

I realized something today and it is not good, forgetting to renew your domain name is not good…not good at all!  Sure I could have set it up to automatically renew but I was unsure if I wanted to have the Krispy’s Bytes continue on and then…well for reasons that are beyond my control (like the plethora of health issues that I have gone through this past month) I simply forgot to submit the renewal. So what does that mean?  Well it means that I have a unique opportunity to restart EVERYTHING and bring it back home to the original home of the Rants and Musings of Krispy.  No more splitting time between two sites and applying a renewed focus for the meanderings of a former sales guy through a new life that is not yet well defined. Will this mean that I will be rebuilding all of the former posts?  I think I just might do that.  Luckily I had a back up of every word, phrase and post that I have ever put up on the grand interwebz … Read more

Exploration of Pain

Having been in excruciating pain for 29 of the last 30 days I figured I would look a little deeper into what this discomfort that I have been suffering through could be…and I was truly surprised by what I found when I went out looking.  I do know that each person has different pain tolerances and while my own tolerance is high, I would never be foolish enough to compare the pain that I have been having to something like childbirth (but then again that is over and done with relatively quickly in comparison to 30 days of constant pain). At Wikipedia a nice concise definition presents itself and starts to put things into perspective: Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. I am a person who likes to compare and look at the data that is in front of me so beyond Wikipedia I looked to two other sources for some facts about pain.  The Canadian Pain Society and the International Association for the … Read more